About

My name is Lisandro Pérez and I write  Cuban New Yorker.  CasablancaHemingway2

I am Professor and Chair of the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. My academic career has been devoted primarily to the study of Cuba and, especially, the Cuban presence in the United States. I hold a Ph.D. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. For twenty-five years I served on the faculty of Florida International University, where I chaired the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and founded that university’s Cuban Research Institute, which I directed for thirteen years. I also served as the editor of the journal Cuban Studies, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. I have authored numerous publications on Cuba and Cuban Americans, including The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (with Guillermo Grenier, published by Allyn and Bacon, 2003) and articles in the Journal of Latin American Studies, the Latin American Research Review, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the International Migration Review, and Cuban Studies. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Miami Herald. 

I moved to New York in July 2010 to accept the position at John Jay College and immerse myself in my most recent research project: a history of the Cuban presence in New York in the nineteenth century. I initiated this project in 2004 with support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers of the New York Public Library. My recent publications from this project include “Cubans in Nineteenth-Century New York: A Story of Sugar, War, and Revolution,”  which appeared in Nueva York, 1613-1945, the companion book to the exhibit of the same name organized by the New York Historical Society and displayed at the Museo del Barrio in the Fall of 2010.  I also authored the essay “New York City” in the two-volume reference work on Cuba published by Charles Scribner’s and Sons in 2012.

Cuban New Yorker responds to my interest in sharing with an audience beyond academia my observations and reflections from the perspective of someone who knows about Cuba and encounters New York, both as a resident and as a scholar. I may write some things about Cuba, some things about New York, but mostly I will post essays about people, events, and places, now and in the past, in which Cuba and New York come together; in other words, Cuba in New York. I hope to do so with an approach and style that is entertaining and with a content that is original, a blog that people enjoy reading but where they, hopefully, can learn something they did not know before.

A few personal notes, in case they are of interest. I was born in Havana in 1949 and migrated to the U.S. with my parents in 1960. In 1979 I returned to the island for the first time, and have been visiting ever since, most recently in January 2012. I live in Washington Heights with my wife Liza (whose frequent counterpoints to my observations will undoubtedly work their way into one or another posting) and with two black cats, who miss Miami, named Flaqui and Blaqui. You will be glad to know that they will not make their way into any posting. I have cats, but I am not a cat person, if you know what I mean.

13 responses to “About

  1. Marisel Moreno

    Esto está super chévere Lisandro, ¡buena idea!

  2. Very creative, Lisandro. Look forward to the coming treasures. Where is your article on “Nineteenth Century New York” available?

  3. Por fin tengo tiempo de sentarme a leer por placer y que gusto me he dado… Muchas gracias! Me siento tan orgullosa de ti!!! Martica

  4. Joseph Michael

    Thank you for following….I am glad we, as Cubans can stick together! Thank you for being so smart and knowledgeable!!!

  5. I didn’t know Cuban Newyorker existed. Even though I’ve been a Cubanonuevayorkino, for over 50 years.
    Thanks to Leon Ichaso, now I’m connected. I guess.
    Ivan Acosta

    • Thank you, Mr. Acosta. Cuban New Yorker has not been around for as long as you have been in New York. It is only a year old. Perhaps you or Mr. Ichaso can let the readers of Cuban New Yorker know where or when or how they can view the new remastered version of El Súper. I know it was shown recently in Miami at a conference at Florida International University. Perhaps we can arrange a showing here at CUNY. Thanks for your interest — and for El Súper, a classic.

  6. Good evening Doctor Perez,

    I’m a student at the NewSchool and also have a Cuban background- my entire family is Cuban and migrated to New York and then to Miami,Fl, where I was born. I’m really interested in learning more about Cuban-New Yorker interactions, and recently even more so because I’ve just started working on an identity project. I will focus on interviewing Cubans that have been or have affected New York City (as the identity project has to relate to this city…) I was really pleased to come across your blog because it provides me with loads of information (and makes me feel like I’m back in my grandparents’ house, listening to their stories and memories about a country I feel I’ll never be able to meet) but I would still really enjoy meeting you sometime, whenever you’re free, so that I could listen to your perspective on a number of different questions I have. I don’t know if this is something you’d be interested in, or even have time for, but I figured asking was the one way to find out.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for creating this blog- it’s great.

    Best,
    Amanda

  7. Dr. Perez,

    This is an amazing blog! As a Cuban American in New York originally from Miami, it has definitely piqued my interest in learning about Cubans living in New York, especially during the 19th century.

    I am currently reading Jose Luciano Franco’s biography on Maceo and looking for lectures and discussions covering the 1860-1900 period. I look forward to reading more of your articles and hearing from you!

    Pablo G. Velez

  8. Great blog Dr Perez, I specially enjoyed the piece on being wary of packages, explosions, etc as it mirrored my experiences as a child in 1950’s Cuba. I believe we are related on my mother’s side (Fonts).

    Best Regards,

    J. Bell

  9. Do you have any suggestions where to find similar research about the same time period you cover in your C-span Cuba/NY in the 19th century lecture where the relationship between Cuba and New Orleans is explored? I read some time ago where 20,000 people (mostly French) from Louisiana in the 1820’s migrated to Cuba. That is a lot of people.

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